Taking the Leap Onstage as a Teenager

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Helen Regan, left, visited the StoryCorps booth in Grand Central Terminal with Cornelia Corson.

Helen Regan, left, visited the StoryCorps booth in Grand Central Terminal with her long-time friend Cornelia Corson. StoryCorps hide caption

itoggle caption StoryCorps

In the 1930s, watching high school plays offered a means of escape for Helen Regan, who grew up in East Hampton, Long Island. But when it came time for her to take the stage, things got complicated.

She had watched her older siblings rehearse for high school plays at the local Guild Hall Theater so often that it was one of her favorite pastimes. But for Regan, a poofy pirate shirt and stage fright threatened to break the family tradition.

As Regan, 82, tells her long-time friend Cornelia Corson, 65, the tears and laughter that followed gave her new confidence.

Excerpts from the StoryCorps oral history project can be heard every Friday on 'Morning Edition'. Recordings of participants' conversations also go to the Library of Congress.

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